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Surprise: some brands of food don't really have all the benefits they claim.
Forbes says that "foods masquerading as drugs" have become a huge business, as companies realize they can make serious bucks by adding omega-3 fatty acids and beneficial bacteria to their products.
This "functional food" industry is a $160 billion business worldwide, and sales are growing at about 7% a year, Forbes reports. The magazine lists several food cons that could dupe shoppers into paying more for benefits that aren't really there. Here's a list:
The four largest banks have grown in size during the financial crisis.
The four biggest banks have only become larger in the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal reports. Now, Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), J.P. Morgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) control more assets today then they did in December 2007.
Combined, these banks have gone from $4.95 trillion in assets in December 2007 to $7.7 trillion in assets now, Stephen Grocer writes. That's almost double the combined assets of the next 46 biggest banks.
So while politicians like to say taxpayers won't foot the bill if one of these banks should fail,
A federal grant will pay for electric car charging stations to be installed in homes and businesses across the country, free of charge.
By Seth Fiegerman, MainStreet
Uncle Sam wants you to forget about our oil problems for a minute and start thinking about electric cars.
The New York Times reports that the federal government has allocated $15 million in stimulus money and another $22 million in grants to build 4,600 charging stations for electric cars across the country. The goal, according to the Times, is to make the transition to electric cars "easier for communities and consumers."
The money will go to Coulomb Technologies, a company that builds fueling units for electric transportation. Coulomb will now begin installing charging stations in public areas like offices, stores and parking lots. Best of all, about 2,000 of these chargers will be installed for free in the homes of people who buy an electric car. As the Times notes, these chargers would otherwise cost around $2,000.
Chocolate stock hits 52-week high, proving many analysts wrong.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
It chose not to compete with Kraft (KFT) in a bidding war for Cadbury. It chose not to put itself up for sale, even though analysts were pretty certain that the company didn't have the earnings power or the vision to lift the stock from the mid-$30s level.
But this is a different Hershey from the one they followed. Beginning with some management changes last year, Hershey's stopped being paternalistic. It started closing plants, moving manufacturing to where labor was cheaper, slaughtering sacred cows.
The federal trade commission targets the cereal giant twice in two years for false claims about its products.
Kellogg (K) has had a difficult go of things in the wake of the recession, lagging rival packaged foods companies in the industry as it struggled to connect with consumers. Recently the company has been looking to turn sales around with ad campaigns that focus on how its cereals help kids stay healthy and attentive in school.
The only problem is that according to the Federal Trade Commission, Kellogg is just making up those claims. For the second time in a year, FTC officials have taken the cereal giant to task for misleading consumers by claiming Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal makes kids do better in school and that its Rice Krispies ward off the common cold.
“We expect more from a great American company than making dubious claims – not once, but twice,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
The debut of Agricultural Bank of China will tell investors a lot about the market.
Have I got a China indicator for you!
Like a lot of investors, I think the selloff in Chinese stocks marks a buying opportunity -- sometime in 2010.
The Shanghai Composite Index is down 22% in 2010, and the market is deep into bear market territory. But that doesn't mean it can't get cheaper still. So, when should you buy?
Young Mark Zuckerberg, pressed on privacy settings, says company is doing what it thinks is right.
Zuckerberg, 26, now sits astride a social-networking monolith, with some 540 million monthly users around the world.
Quitting Facebook protest recently).
Governments across the country want to get rid of plastic grocery bags. Here are stocks that could be affected.
This is a growing trend nationwide. Cities across the country are quashing plastic bags in hopes that people will bring their own reusable bags when they shop.
Just for fun, I thought I'd look up which stocks might be affected by this movement. Here are some of the largest makers of plastic bags and polyethylene resins, according to the American Chemistry Council:
After defending Goldman Sachs and Moody's, the Oracle of Omaha is getting hit with criticism.
Public opinion is turning against Warren Buffett.
The billionaire investor is getting raked over the coals this week after defending credit ratings agencies like Moody's, saying that lots of people -- himself included -- did not expect the economy to implode.
"The entire American public was caught up in a belief that housing prices could not fall dramatically," he told a panel looking into the financial meltdown, according to The Associated Press.
The euro's trajectory isn't broken, but the velocity of its decline is. And that's enough to rebuild both confidence and capital in the market.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Why isn't some hedge fund, or some group of hedge funds, out there trying to crack the euro? Or is there one – or several – and the euro has hit a floor now that there are so many more bears than bulls on it?
A very complex and difficult dynamic out there has suddenly shifted, allowing us to think about individual stocks again. Oil has bottomed – thanks for that great call Dan Dicker – at $70. The economic data in this country has been unbelievably strong, as Doug Kass points out, and the possibility of a terrific employment number on Friday still exists, stoked by President Obama's words Wednesday. The Chinese stock market seems to have stopped going down, and weaker numbers from China are now being viewed positively as a sign of a soft landing – although that view has not been articulated on TV yet, other than on my "Mad Money" show.
So we have a barometer of economic strength – oil – saying things aren't so bad, and we have a major economy that gets better and better.
Investors are seeing turmoil as the governments of Japan and Spain are rocked by unrest.
Political risk moves stock markets.
Investors are getting a reminder of that from Japan, where the resignation of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has sent the yen falling against all but one of the world's most traded currencies. The Nikkei 225 stock index is down more than 1%.
And they're likely to get another refresher in coming weeks from Spain, where the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is struggling to stay in power.
The company stops offering unlimited data for a set monthly price.
Starting Monday, AT&T customers will no longer get unlimited Internet access for a set monthly price. Instead, they'ill pay either $15 a month for 200 megabytes of data or $25 a month for 2 gigabytes. Try to imagine 200 megabytes as the equivalent of about 400 photos, according to USA Today.
Customers can still go over that limit, they'll just pay more depending on how much data they use. The company says that 98% of customers use less than 2 GB. Previously, iPhone customers paid $30 a month for unlimited data.
The company returns to wine and beer in hopes of boosting flagging sales.
Shares of Walgreen (WAG) were up 2.5% Wednesday to $32.82 on news that the company will start selling wine and beer again.
It's about time. Rivals CVS Caremark (CVS) and Rite Aid (RAD) sell wine and beer in many locations. Without those items, Walgreen became more of a drugstore and less of an all-around general store.
Analysts are applauding the move, saying it will help Walgreen recover some of the sales it lost in the recession. Sales at the front end of Walgreen stores dropped 2.6% in April, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A woman is suing Citigroup, claiming she was fired because she's just too attractive.
One news story has really hit the trifecta of poor taste this week.
First, you have the woman whose ego is so colossal that she thinks she was fired from Citigroup (C) for being too hot. Next, there's a crazy 20-picture photo spread in the Village Voice to prove that she is indeed smoking (and yes, she is).
Finally, there's her inevitable lawsuit against the bank, in which she claims her bosses couldn't concentrate because of her hotness and banned her from wearing turtlenecks, pencil skirts, 3-inch heels or fitted business suits. (What's left, a muumuu?)
The world's largest car-sharing service has been losing money since it was founded a decade ago.
This post comes from The Big Money's Matthew DeBord.
Is car-sharing about to have its market moment? So it would seem, as Zipcar, the country’s best-known car-sharing service (and the world’s largest) filed for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
The Cambridge, Mass., company’s modest goal is to take what was once a stalwart of crunchy, Northeastern hippie culture (it reportedly got its start with a single VW bug), raise $75 million and position itself among the dominant players in an industry that could be worth billions.
Or an industry that could never find its momentum.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks entered the weekend on a mixed note as the S&P 500 shed 0.1% while the Dow ended with a gain of 0.1%.
The major averages began the day on a lower note as nine of ten sectors saw losses of more than 0.5%.
The consumer staples sector was the lone exception as the group spent the entire day in positive territory thanks to the relative strength of Dow component Procter & Gamble (PG 81.89, +3.19). The second-largest staple stock advanced ... More
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